Jimmy Pattison’s former home ‘deconstructed’ in unique sustainable way


Billionaire business tycoon Jimmy Pattison’s former home is being dismantled in a uniquely sustainable way.

The municipality of West Vancouver acquired the property last year in a land swap, converting waterfront properties on Argyle Avenue into park space.

All the material from this home can be upcycled, repurposed and brought back into the economy.

VEMA Construction is behind the environmentally-responsible demolition project and said homes like Pattison’s are loaded with valuable materials.

Erick Serpas Ventura, the owner of VEMA Deconstruction said his company is “bringing in sustainable demolition, which is the exact same thing as demolition. We’re just swapping out, demolishing the house to deconstruct the house.”

Pattison lived in the home in the 1950s when he worked at a car dealership.

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“What we’re doing with the home is we’re deconstructing it in panels, taking those panels off the house,” Ventura told Global News.

“Those panels will go on a flat deck, and that flat deck will then take the whole house away to a processing site, where we then separate all the material and separate all the great lumber that’s in there and to create a product.”

Click to play video: 'Shaping BC: Local company deconstructs, salvages and remanufactures wood from old buildings'

Shaping BC: Local company deconstructs, salvages and remanufactures wood from old buildings

Ventura said that lumber could then be used to build laneways or modular homes.

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“That lumber is from old growth,” he added. “It is old Douglas Fir. We don’t have forests anymore that that lumber comes from. It’s much more solid than the material we’re using nowadays. It’s much more dense. It’s a lot more beautiful.”

Ventura said in Pattison’s former home, he estimates there are about 20,000 pounds of lumber that will be salvaged along with close to 10,000 board feet — all of which could be brought back into the economy.

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He said they have also found high-quality cedar in home in the form of beams that were milled in the 1920s.

“So that’s what’s really great, that as you’re deconstructing the house, you’re starting to find the real great jewels available, which is really great,” Ventura added.

Click to play video: 'Aerial view of work to deconstruct and remove English Bay barge'

Aerial view of work to deconstruct and remove English Bay barge

The materials salvaged from this home will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Ventura said he would like to see more homes salvaged in Metro Vancouver, but they have a long way to go.

“3,500 homes were demolished last year,” he said. “From that, we were able to do seven of them.”

Ventura said the company’s goal is to salvage one a month, which would be 12.

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